Colombia holiday, off the beaten track
Description of Colombia holiday, off the beaten track
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As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetIn this Colombia itinerary there are plenty of opportunities to explore on foot, a more environmentally friendly and slower paced way of travel. Cars may allow you to see more but they create noise and air pollution, and you have less chance of interacting with people. We will walk around in Barichara and Villa de Leyva, plus more.
By keeping the group size to a maximum of 12, we can also minimise the human impact on the fragile sites and ecosystems we visit.
We attempt to reduce plastic bottle use wherever possible by promoting use of reusable and filtered water bottles. Our partnership with Water-To-Go provides a discount on filtered water bottles to our clients. We do not provide water from plastic bottles to our clients in country but always ensure there is regular access to drinking water on our tours.
Throughout most of the trip we will be travelling in minibuses. Travelling as a group in a small bus contributes less pollution than a multitude of vehicles. We will also be exploring many areas on foot, by public bus, boats and cable cars to not only soak up the amazing sights at a slower pace, but to reduce our environmental impact and footprint along our journey.
PeopleOn Day 6, we walk along the famous ‘Camino Real’ which was one of the old indigenous trails that crossed the region. The walk to the tiny village of Guarne is mostly downhill and takes about 3 hours, travelling through some stunning forest and mountain scenery and with luck offering great birdwatching opportunities en route.
After lunch there will be time to ‘give something back’ as part of a local social enterprise initiative. In Barichara, many houses are built using a technique called tapia pisada, a kind of mud-brick adobe. By governmental decree, so as to preserve the village’s architectural integrity, such houses can only be restored using this traditional building method. However some locals lack the funds needed to make the necessary repair work so some houses in the poorer part of the village are slowly falling to ruin. Accordingly, after a short lesson on how to construct using the tapia pisada technique we will work alongside a local artisan to help restore one of these local homes. It is an initiative which aims not only to help preserve the local architecture but also to help some of the poorer members of the community to live more dignified lives.
The best way to share stories and meet new people is over a plate of great food and a glass of wine in hand. Supporting the local food industry in Colombia not only maintains the cultural identity of Colombia and connects cultures through the most ancient of pastimes, eating and drinking! On this particular tour, on day 7, we will be enjoying a coffee plantation tour and a local lunch.
All our tours employ the services of local guides and drivers, stay in locally owned hotels and guesthouses – often staying in our guides villages and homes, which again diverts important funds directly into the area. The wonderful thing about this kind of interactive tourism is that everyone gains – the locals financially, and our clients with the unique experience and social interaction.